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Characters: Marvel Cinematic Universe

This page lists characters that appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, including Marvel One-Shots and The Avengers.

  • Captain America note 
  • The Incredible Hulknote 
  • Iron Mannote 
  • Thornote 
  • Guardians of the Galaxynote 
  • The Avengers: Age of Ultronnote 
  • S.H.I.E.L.D. (the organization)note 
  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (the series)note 
  • Agent Carter note 

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Universal Enemies

    The Chitauri 

The Chitauri

A mysterious race of cyborg aliens in the employment of Loki and the Other. They invade Earth in The Avengers.
  • Alien Blood: It's purple.
  • Always Chaotic Evil: As Thor notes, they exist solely to wage war and chaos.
  • Another Dimension: Or at least a "new universe", if Erik Selvig's comment in The Avengers is anything to go by.
  • Arm Cannon: The cannons that some of the Chitauri have (including the eponymous Item 47) seem to be fit around their arms to fire one-handed. They, however, do not seem to actually be the arm, since an arm falls out when Captain America chops it off of one of them.
  • Awesome Personnel Carrier: Their main transport is the Leviathan, a gigantic flying serpent-like creature that carries hundreds of soldiers and can fly through skyscrapers. It takes huge amounts of explosive or electrical damage to put one down. Or one Hulk punch and a several Stark missiles.
    • Or blow one up from inside.
  • Bayonet Ya: Their infantry sport them on their rifles.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: They appear to come from a planet that uses electrical currents in a similar way to bodily fluids. This is demonstrated when Coulson's team encounters a Chitauri virus that is transferred between infected via static shock, and need the antidote to do so as well.
  • Blood Knight: They grow restless when denied war. The tactical problems with this are summed up in a deleted scene:
    Loki: Your force lacks... finesse.
    Other: Our warriors are fearless! They welcome a glorious death.
  • Boom Stick: Their standard infantry blast lances seem to be staves with the ability to fire out blue blasts of energy.
  • Canon Immigrant: While the Chitauri are (loosely) based on an alien race in the Ultimate Marvel Universe, it's this version of them that's making the leap into the classic Marvel Universe.
    • Ret Canon: In Hunger, the Ultimate Universe's Chitauri's true forms are revealed to look more like the versions from the movie.
  • Continuity Cameo: A Chitauri makes an appearance in Guardians of the Galaxy, in Knowhere, trapped in a case as part of the Collector's collection.
  • Cyborg: They clearly have both mechanical and organic parts, and shut down when their command ship is destroyed.
  • Easily Thwarted Alien Invasion: A single nuclear warhead to their mothership halts the entire invasion.
  • Expy: Of Darkseid's Parademons. Which is fitting, since their leader, Thanos, was originally designed as a Darkseid expy.
  • Frickin' Laser Beams: Two varieties. One is fired from a thin spear/rifle used by Chitauri foot soldiers. The other is a powerful Arm Cannon that's mounted on Chitauri commanders and units riding in hovercraft. Both fire blue colored beams.
  • Humanoid Aliens: Barring the freaky double-thumbs and evil-looking skull-faces.
  • Keystone Army: Taking out their command ship shuts them down.
  • Martyrdom Culture: As pointed out by Loki, that's not exactly helpful for an army.
  • Mooks: Not the worst ever, not the best ever. But certainly numerous.
  • Nightmare Face: Vaguely birdlike under metal masks.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Everyone is fair game in their rampage across Manhattan.
  • Unusual User Interface: Their flying craft are piloted by a soldier connected to some kind of metal harness.
  • Zerg Rush: They only pose a threat to a well-equipped fighting force like the Avengers through sheer overwhelming number and utter lack of self-preservation, a strategy that somewhat displeases Loki.

    The Other 

The Other

"We look beyond the Earth to greater worlds the Tesseract will unveil."

Portrayed By: Alexis Denisof

An alien who acts as the liaison between the master of the Chitauri and Loki.
  • Back for the Dead: Appears in Guardians of the Galaxy in a couple of scenes, acting as a middleman between Ronan and Thanos. When Ronan goes to see Thanos in person, he grows annoyed with the Other constantly arguing with him, and kills him.
  • Black Cloak: He wears a black robe that covers the top half of his face.
  • Canon Foreigner: Created for Marvel Cinematic Universe. However...
  • The Dragon: Appears at first to be working for Loki, but is quickly revealed to be the intermediary for the even more powerful Thanos. After his untimely death, it appears the Titan's adopted daughter Nebula will take his place instead.
  • Easily Conquered World: Believed Earth would be one of these, and that the entire Earth would surrender the minute the Chitauri landed.
  • Expy: Of Emperor Palpatine, a nasty-looking, cloaked and evil benefactor of someone else, who often speaks in a hammy, raspy voice. Though it turns out he's The Dragon to the MCU's true counterpart to Palpatine, Thanos.
  • Famous Last Words: "Lower your tone! Here you won't bring in your-*Neck Snap*!"
  • Flanderization: In The Avengers The Other was much more subdued compared to his mostly shrieking role in Guardians of the Galaxy. His constant harping about respecting Thanos gets him killed by Ronan.
  • Humanoid Aliens: He has the same general shape as a human (and of course is played by a human actor), but the details are very different. For starters, he has two thumbs on each hand. It's not really clear if he's of the same race as the Chitauri.
  • In the Hood: His hood helps to further obscure his face. You get to see his surprised eye when Ronan kills him.
  • Malevolent Masked Man: A servant of Thanos who hides half of his face.
  • Mouth of Sauron: Serves as the mouthpiece for his master.
  • Nightmare Face: Though we only see some of it.
  • Neck Snap: Ronan kills the Other using a blast of force from his hammer, not only breaking his spine but twisting his head nearly 180.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: Something of a given for anyone who willingly serves Thanos.
  • Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: In Guardians of the Galaxy, he only appears briefly before Ronan kills him.
  • Teeth-Clenched Teamwork: From the start of The Avengers, he shows annoyance over working with Loki. Though, it was ultimately up to Thanos to make that decision. In Guardians of the Galaxy, he also doesn't like working with Ronan the Accuser much either, chastising him for talking to Thanos without the proper respect. This provokes Ronan into killing him.
  • Undying Loyalty: To his master.
  • The Worf Effect: James Gunn acknowledges doing this with him on the commentary for Guardians, saying seeing the guy who Loki was submissive towards killed so easily was meant to drive home how dangerous Ronan was.

    Thanos 

Thanos

"I shall honor our agreement, Kree, if you bring me the Orb. But return to me again empty handed, and I will bathe the starways in your blood."

Portrayed By: Damion Poitier, Josh Brolin
Appearances: The Avengers (Portrayed by Damion Poitier) | Guardians of the Galaxy | The Avengers: Infinity War Part I & II

The master of the Chitauri, and the Overarching Villain of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. He lent Loki his forces in exchange for Loki promising him the Tesseract in The Avengers. He later promises Ronan the Accuser that he will destroy the homeworld of the Nova Corps in exchange for the Orb in Guardians of the Galaxy. All in order to gather the six Infinity Stones that together will grant him ultimate power.
  • 0% Approval Rating: The guy has Chronic Getting-Backstabbed Disorder.
    • Gamora and Nebula both hate Thanos and abandon him the moment they see a chance.
    • As soon as he gains the power to destroy planets, Ronan betrays and promises to kill Thanos.
  • Abusive Parent: He "adopted" both Nebula and Gamora after killing their respective families. He then surgically modified both with cybernetics to become his personal enforcers. Gamora calls her time with Thanos worse than any nightmare, and Nebula states that Thanos turned her into a monster.
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Has purple skin.
  • Archnemesis Dad:
    • Gamora, one of his adopted daughters, fights against his forces in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • While his other daughter Nebula continues to serve him, she really hates Thanos and turns against him as soon as she gets the opportunity, joining Ronan.
  • Artifact of Doom: Wants to reassemble the Infinity Gauntlet in order to take over the Universe.
  • Bad Boss:
    • Makes violent, inventive threats to both Loki (through the Other) and Ronan (in person).
    • Doesn't react at all when Ronan kills the Other in front of him. Nebula at least looked up, Thanos didn't even bother to turn around.
    • Everyone who works for him in Guardians of the Galaxy takes the earliest possible opportunity to betray him.
  • Big Bad: Serves as the main villain of the The Avengers: Infinity War films, where he finally completes his Artifact of Doom and every hero in the Universe comes after him.
  • Bigger Bad: While not directly involved in any of the early films he appears in, he's the galactic Evil Overlord driving events from behind the scenes. All in order to gather the Infinity Stones and take over the Universe.
    • In The Avengers, his mouthpiece tells Loki to get Thanos the Tesseract as promised, or suffer unimaginable pain. But even though Thanos is the leader of the Chitauri, Loki's the one leading the invasion on his own accord.
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy, Thanos himself tells Ronan the Accuser he'll only honor their deal to destroy Ronan's enemies if Ronan brings him the Orb. If Ronan doesn't, Thanos promises he will bathe the stars in Ronan's blood instead. Thanos is prevented from taking the Big Bad position when Ronan betrays him halfway through.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Favors employing women as his agents and enforcers, adopting various "daughters" he conditions into living weapons.
  • Chair Reveal: We get our first full glimpse of Thanos when Ronan kills his enforcer and asks him to directly address him, cue a slow swivel and we see Thanos in the flesh.
  • Creepy Blue Eyes: His bright blue eyes glow slightly.
  • The Dreaded: He didn't earn his title of "the Mad Titan" by kicking grass. His minions are terrified of him. Just standing up caused The Other to hastily duck his head.
    • Loki was clearly intimidated by the Other's threats of Thanos's wrath,
    • Korath briefly tried to talk Ronan out of betraying the Titan, warning "Thanos is the most powerful being in the Universe".
    • Ronan himself, when face-to-face with Thanos, also recoils in fear when Thanos speaks down to him.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Despite all the abuse, he sees Gamora as his favorite daughter.
  • Evil Overlord: Thanos has entire planet-conquering armies, a personal retinue of Bodyguard Babes, and scares the hell out of anyone who's ever worked for him.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Has a very deep, booming voice.
  • Galactic Conqueror: He's the one who lent Loki a planet-conquering army. He also promises Ronan he will destroy Xandar, homeworld of the Nova Empire, in Guardians of the Galaxy
  • Graceful Loser: He doesn't seem to mind too much that Loki failed to conquer Earth and bring him the Tesseract. Keep in mind he's lost two Infinity Stones in one go note . Later, when Ronan takes the Power Stone from him, he's more angry about Ronan disrespecting him than anything.
  • Insistent Terminology: To demean Ronan, he consistently refers to him as "boy" to show who's in charge.
  • Large Ham: Inevitable for a Purple Skinned Overlord but Josh Brolin does enjoy himself a bit much.
  • The Man Behind the Man:
    • He's the master of the Chitauri, who promised Loki Earth in exchange for the Tesseract in The Avengers.
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy, he commands Ronan the Accuser to find the Orb in exchange for his help against Xandar, putting Ronan into conflict with the main characters. However, once Ronan turns against him, Thanos is no longer involved with Ronan's actions. The film implies that Thanos has been backing Ronan for some time; after Ronan is killed, Drax considers Thanos the man truly responsible for his family's deaths.
  • Mythology Gag: In the comic books, Thanos is in love with the Personification of Death. His first onscreen appearance immediately plays off this.
    The Other: To challenge them... is to court death.
    Thanos: [smiles]
  • No Name Given: In the end credits of The Avengers, the credits for his actor and makeup artist list him as "Man #1", presumably to avoid spoilers. There is no Man #2.
  • Nothing Is Scarier: Thanos has appeared in two movies and shown no trace of any superhuman ability at all. Some call this a case of Informed Ability: but considering what we have seen Loki and Ronan do on-screen, the fact that they hate him - yet kneel before him - suggests that 'Nothing is Scarier' is being invoked.
  • Omnicidal Maniac: He's willing to destroy entire planets in return for an Infinity Stone, or just potential recruits like Gomora.
  • Orcus on His Throne: The most that we've seen Thanos personally do in his two film appearances is stand up and smile in The Avengers and threaten Ronan in Guardians of the Galaxy.
    • Doesn't personally intervene against the good guys in The Avengers, even though it loses him both the Tesseract and the staff he gave Loki.
    • Similarly has Ronan the Accuser and Nebula deal with obtaining the Power Gem, even after Peter Quill steals it out from under them in Guardians of the Galaxy.
  • Overarching Villain: The main villain of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. He is the true mastermind behind Loki, the Chitauri, and Ronan, and presumably will be the main antagonist of the The Avengers: Infinity War films.
  • Perma Stubble: If you look closely, you'll notice he always has a bit of stubble on his face, like his motion capture actor Josh Brolin.
  • Parental Favoritism: He refers to Gamora as his "favorite daughter." ...right in front of his other daughter, Nebula.
  • The Plan: The Avengers started his plan to obtain the Infinity Stones and become omnipotent, and it's since been revealed that the third Avengers film will feature him.
  • Red Baron: As revealed in Guardians of the Galaxy, he has his comic counterpart's epithet "The Mad Titan".
  • Slasher Smile:
    • Upon hearing attacking Earth would be tantamount to a Suicide Mission, he grins.
    • He similarly grins after telling Ronan he will bathe the stars in Ronan's blood if the Kree zealot comes back empty-handed again.
  • Smug Super: The reason he's pretty high and mighty? Because he really is that high and mighty and powerful.
  • The Stoic: He's not too phased by anything. The only time he ever really raises his voice is when Ronan takes the power of the Power Stone into him, and even then he doesn't react too much.
  • The Voiceless: He has no lines during his initial onscreen appearance in The Avengers. This changes as of Guardians of the Galaxy, where Josh Brolin plays him.
  • World's Strongest Man: Ronan's second in command literally calls him "the most powerful being in the Universe". Even the most powerful of "superhuman" races like the Asgardians and Kree are afraid to cross him.

Others

    Stan Lee 

Stan Lee

Portrayed by: Stan Lee

A pioneer of the comic industry, and the creator or co-creator of most of the characters so far featured in not only the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but also the X-Men, Spider-Man and other non-Disney film and franchises. Much like Alfred Hitchcock, it has become a tradition for Stan Lee to make cameo appearances in most movies or TV series based on Marvel Comics, MCU and otherwise.

    Spoiler Character (Marvel One Shots

The Mandarin

Portrayed By: N/A
Appearances: Marvel One-Shots (mentioned)

The Mandarin is the mysterious leader of the Ten Rings terrorist organization that menaced Tony Stark in Iron Man. Though Aldrich Killian's scheme to use the Mandarin's image in Iron Man 3 made it seem that he was a mere fabrication, the Marvel short All Hail the King reveals that he is indeed real. Jackson Norris claims he was ordered by the Mandarin to break Trevor Slattery, the fake Mandarin, out of prison, evidently so the Diabolical Mastermind can punish his impostor personally.
  • Bigger Bad: He's behind the Ten Rings, but hasn't yet stepped into the spotlight with any evil plans.
  • The Ghost: So far, he's only been referenced by name in Iron Man 3 and All Hail the King, without appearing personally.
  • Meaningful Name: The word "Mandarin" comes from an ancient Chinese name for an "advisor to the King". Indeed, he's said to have advised powerful figures throughout human history.
  • Really 700 Years Old: Apparently, he's been around since before the Middle Ages. Though he could just be a Legacy Character, like some other versions.
  • Walking Spoiler: Revealing his existence gives away The Reveal from Iron Man 3 that the Mandarin appearing in that film is nothing but a Red Herring for Aldrich Killian, not to mention that Killian was lying about being the Mandarin all along.
  • Warrior Prince: He's described as a warrior king who's "inspired generations of men".
  • We Wait: Jackson Norris notes that his organization has been dormant for some time.

Alternative Title(s):

MCU Heroes, Marvel One Shots, Avengers Infinity War